Monday Musings on Thursday

Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect

Abstract from Tate, UK’s definition of Abstract Art

I feel like the art-pretender in my family. My dabbles in school were lacklustre, even my doodles did not inspire chuckles. My art appreciation is neither knowledgeable nor well-read; my response tends to be emotive. This said, I have come to accept that it is ok to like (or love), or not, a piece. If it illicits a response from me whether positive or negative, all the better. I appreciate that interacting with art might lift my spirit, or perhaps, challenge me to think beyond my comfort zone.

I first encountered Jane Lee in October last year. I adore her luxuriant textures and the use of colours & space. Her unusual treatment of materials also makes me pause. As a younger person, I might have lifted an eyebrow, shrugged a shoulder and dismissed work I didn’t understand. I would have missed basking in the scrumptious visual feast that Jane Lee offers.

More recently, we came across this Jane Lee during Singapore Art Week a couple of months ago.

Jane Lee, “What Ever Is – IS” (2022), acrylic & mixed media on fibreglass, 71″ x 59″ x 3.1″

for my artist sister, who is the bravest person I know

under layers 
                          of paint
a tickle springs forth
face fractured yet never more whole
rip off the smile
pluck out the offending eye
dare to cross       dot       slash at will
release a reality long buried
transcend the scars

As I ruminate on art & abstraction and write this poem, I think of my sister, a bona fide artist & poet. Kemlyn Tan Bappe has been an art practitioner for decades, working with paint, metal, ink, ceramics.

Her recent venture into poetry birthed her first solo anthology, “Between the Lies (cover painted by her)

I have only been privy to some of the poems included – I am waiting for my signed copy. The controlled raw power of her words abstracts her carefully buried inner struggle with abuse . Her poems will likely disturb the reader, and perhaps, give one’s own pain a voice.

To say I am thrilled for her and so very proud is an understatement.

This post is my contribution to One Word Sunday: Abstract hosted by Debbie at Travel with Intent.


  1. I am proud of her with you Ju-Lyn. I believe her gift will be as you hope, reaching those who need to feel they are not alone wheel allowing herself to heal. Very powerful.


  2. Wowsah! Wonderful art, wonderful poetry. Kudos to your sister. It seems to me that one of the functions of art, in any form, is to arose the emotions, the whole range from joy to grief. If there is no emotional response, then what’s the use? Naturally, not everyone is moved by the same thing. Vive la difference!


  3. That’s powerful poetry, Ju-Lyn. A sad past? It’s wonderful how some people can turn experience into something mesmerising, both in words and painting. I don’t have that gift and sometimes feel quite lacking.

    Liked by 1 person

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